Petition to Reschedule ‘Marijuana’ to Recognize Medical Benefits in Final Stages

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420 Magazine
420 Magazine
As scientists and researchers from Israel, Brazil, Canada and the US participate in the Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, a coalition of medical marijuana advocates is calling on the Obama administration for prompt action on an eight-year-old petition to reschedule marijuana for medical use. The petition, filed in 2002, argues that marijuana should be classified as a drug with “accepted medical use” based on growing scientific evidence and acceptance in state law. Since the petition was filed, even more scientific studies and state laws have recognized the medical efficacy of marijuana.

President Obama’s Administration now has the opportunity to reclassify cannabis (marijuana) under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to make it consistent with state medical marijuana policies and that of its own Department of Justice. After nearly eight years of agency review, including an analysis of existing scientific evidence by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the petition is finally approaching its ultimate phase.

A final decision on the rescheduling petition will be made by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), however DEA can not place marijuana in a more restrictive schedule than recommended by HHS. Recently nominated DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart will make the decision on rescheduling marijuana at some point in the near future.

Jon Gettman, a spokesperson for The Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, states that, “Rescheduling marijuana is an urgent priority that needs this Administration’s immediate attention. Medical marijuana patients have waited too long for the federal government to catch up to scientific research and state laws that recognize that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe, effective, and most importantly not criminal activity. We demand that federal policymakers recognize and accept their responsibility to regulate marijuana under the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.”

The CSA classifies marijuana and other drugs in various schedules. Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I substance, designating it as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

The CSA provides a procedure to have scheduling classifications changed in response to scientific research and other relevant factors, such as recognition of a drug’s accepted medical use and its dependence liability as compared to other controlled substances. Schedule I substances include ******, GHB and MDMA (ecstasy). ******* and oxycodone are both Schedule II substances, which allows for severely restricted medical use while maintaining the assertion that its abuse may lead to severe physiological and psychological dependence. Marinol® a synthetic form of THC (marijuana) that is widely prescribed medically is a Schedule III substance designating that it has a currently accepted medical use in the United States and that’s its abuse may lead to only moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.

The case for rescheduling marijuana has been strengthened by several recent developments. Fourteen states now recognize marijuana’s medical use. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has also recognized that marijuana is used medically under these state laws and directed the DEA and US Attorneys not to prosecute individuals for such use in these states. In addition the reclassification of marijuana under the CSA is now supported by the American Medical Association. The Iowa Pharmacy Board, using the same criteria as the CSA, has recommended rescheduling of marijuana under state law. Furthermore, recent studies by the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research have documented marijuana’s effectiveness in treating a variety of ailments. Most recently, on April 16th and 17th Patients Out of Time and the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine will hold The Sixth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, RI. This accredited educational event features cannabis/cannabinoid researchers from Israel, Brazil, Canada and the US.

The members of the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis include the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis. Americans for Safe Access (ASA), California NORML, the Drug Policy Forum of Texas, High Times, Iowans for Medical Marijuana, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), New Mexicans for Compassionate Use, Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative, and Patients Out of Time.

The petition and supporting research can be found online at Marijuana Research: Science, Law, Medical Marijuana, Rescheduling Petition

Timeline of Efforts to Reschedule Marijuana

* 1995 – 2001 — Prior attempt by Jon Gettman to reschedule cannabis ended with a rejection of the petition by then DEA head Asa Hutchinson
* 2002 — Coalition for Rescheduling files new petition to DEA to reschedule marijuana.
* 2003 — DEA evaluates petition and sends it for review to HHS
* 2003 – 2009 — HHS reviews all science relevant and makes recommendation to DEA
* 2009 – Present — Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis awaits final decision by DEA.

NewsHawk: Ganjarden: http://www.420magazine.com/
Source: Your Story
Author: Jan Carlos Byl
Contact: Your Story
Copyright: 2010 Your Story
Website: Petition to Reschedule ‘Marijuana’ to Recognize Medical Benefits in Final Stages of Review by DEA

10 COMMENTS

  1. I just lost my sister in Jan. to a lethal doseage of hydrocodone (spelling?) basically made from derivative’s of Morphine. I’m angry because I light up for indeed real ailments from my liver disease. How come that “crap” is so easy to get from a doctor? But I had to jump through hoops to find a doctor for my smoke. Would some body tell me why?
    For those people out there who abuse marijuana, knock it off! You give the legit user’s a bad name. There should be no shame in growing and smoking. Mr. Obama if you are as intellegent I thought you were when I voted for you, do something I can be proud of?

  2. shouldn’t we have a national drive to gather enough signatures to send to the DEA and Miss Leonhart requesting our votes be considered on an issue where 80% of Americans overwhelmingly approve of medical marijuana? I keep on wondering when the majorities votes count.

  3. I think this decision by the By the HHS To reschedule cannabis so that it can be prescribed even more freely and more reasearch can be done which will of course show as it has in the past that cannabis is actually less harmful then either tobacco or alcohol. As we all know once the reports come around again suggesting that cannabis be freely consumable and produceable privately or commercially the same as alcohol and tobacco especially with cannabis under a lower scheduling there will be much more open transmision of information as well as there being the ability for average daytime tv to start showing people with medial issues using cannabis in soap operas ,sit coms. presently in the schedulue its in now the topics that are breached about cannabis use are usually drug abuse or criminal activity etc but once it is accepted as a legit medication then when the topic of cannabis is approached the use of the old sterotype will no longer be Politically Correct and we will see more and more shows that have Characters who use cannabis medicinally or instead of alcohol and with it in a lower schedule that shows it as a legit medicine we can also petition with much better results agaisnt cannabis users being stereotyped and we will have legitimate grounds to force any type of media that portrays cannabis users negatively to be required to also show us in a positive light. So all in all having cannabis lowered to a lesser schedule will be excellent for us especially if the HHS were to recommend it be moved to schedule 3 or 4 which I believe 3 beinging a standard prescription drug 4 being over the counter medication like asprin so if they were to move it to 4 they should just move it to the same schedule as tobaco and alcohol. But this is all dependant on the HHS recomendations but If at least it is moved to a schedule on par with marinol at the very least this will be a massive victory for advocates of cannabis as a prefered medication.

  4. Is marijuana LAWFULLY(1) included in US Controlled Substances Act Schedule I, drugs with “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision”?

    Consider Marinol, a synthetic chemical that works like THC, a psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. At 100 percent strength, Marinol is around four times BC Bud’s potency, or twice as strong as hashish. Generically named Dronabinol, warning labels specifically PERMIT driving and using machinery when users know how the medicine affects them.

    31 US states have medical marijuana laws on the books, if not enforced(2).

    Even the title of U.S. Patent No. 6630507, “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants”(3) demonstrates currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and no lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

    Regardless, for similar reasons and according to the Ontario Court of Justice, Canada’s laws against marijuana were found to remain unconstitutional since Parker, in R. v. Long.(4)

    So, under what US or Canada law are cannabis and cannabinoids _legally_ prohibited?

    1. http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/scheduling.html

    2. http://www.mpp.org/legislation/state-by-state-medical-marijuana-laws.html

    3. http://tinyurl.com/classactionlawsuit

    4. http://www.canlii.org/en/on/oncj/doc/2007/2007oncj341/2007oncj341.html

    Contact HHS via the top link on this page:

    http://ihydrocarbon.com/solutions

  5. I agree with Cateros. This is potentially very good news for me and I am imagining the rest of the U.S. to see depending on the outcome of course. The rescheduling of cannabis would be politically a leap forward for the entire movement. Not only would the product itself become a more widely, openly traded commodity but the idea of all users would change. We would no longer be outlaws. We would be shown as the truly ailed being benefited from our medicine, or as the cannabis connoisseur, who enjoys buds in a responsible way and enjoys a very safe recreational experience. People need their medicine and image is important. The true identity of cannabis could be revealed in this rescheduling, potentially.

  6. I sure would be nice if all those goverment peeple could reed and understand the scientists reports about pot and how it helps so many peeple. When I feel down as I do a lot 1 little puff makes me feel so much better and I dont hav to take those goofy pills the docter whants me to take. If I take those pills I cant hardly take care of my kids anymor.

    By-by

    Kate

  7. Historicus: Awesome argument. As far as majority rules, that’s not how America is supposed to work, in order to protect minority rights. “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner” roughly quoting Ben Franklin. Cannabis needs to be reclassified and controlled at the state level, with the federal gov’t following suit.

  8. I feel the government has lied to the masses for long enough and it’s time they own up to the fact that Medical Marijuana does and has helped million who have had to hide the fact that they were using illegally, to receive the medical benefits that they so desperately in need of. The governments campaign against Marijuana has lasted longer than Prohibition was on alcohol. It’s been over 75yrs of government lies. Let get out there and campaign to repel the laws on Marijuana.

  9. how many times do we make progress like this only to get it shot down by some buerocrat with a fat swiss bank account? iam not holding my breath !!

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